The Truth Curve and the Build Curve

Giff Constable lean, product management

In my two books on testing new business ideas, I have a diagram called the “truth curve”. I often get credit for a variation that my friends Jeff Gothelf and Jeff Patton created, but their diagram makes a different, equally valuable point. I’m going to take the liberty of calling their graph the “build curve”. Let’s look at them both. …

Case: The Struggling Team

Giff Constable management, product management

Preface: I’m going to experiment with sharing some cases here. They are always better live, but I inserted a couple of moments for you to think asynchronously. This scenario is based on a blend of real situations, but has been adjusted for learning purposes. Setup One of your teams is really struggling with pace and progress against their goals, which …

Winning Strategic Roles

Giff Constable product management

“Female PMs tend to be promoted to operational roles, not strategic ones. If I want to be strategic, how can I avoid that?” A bright, experienced PM asked that question last week, and I wanted to offer a few suggestions. Before I do, I want to remind executives (myself included) of our responsibility to be aware of, and take steps …

Designing Revenue Models

Giff Constable business models

Product leaders need to pay as much attention to the revenue model as the product and customer. Pricing and packaging have become too intertwined with both the product and customer behavior to be ignored and left to other functions in the business. And while all the elements of your business model (see Osterwalder’s canvas) are important for innovation, I’ve found …

Part II of “As a leader, what have you left unsaid?”

Giff Constable leadership, management

Last week, I wrote about the importance of communication as a leader. I gave some examples where I did a less-than-stellar job and left things unsaid. This week, I’ll give three examples where things went well. “This is going to suck” When I arrived at Meetup as CPO, the product management team had about a dozen people. The team had …

As a leader, what have you left unsaid?

Giff Constable leadership

So often, my unforced errors as a leader came down to a simple thing: communication. Okay, maybe it’s not a simple thing. Doing this well takes constant reflection on what needs to be said, what has been left unsaid, how things should be said, the right level of transparency, etc. Here’s a few areas where I messed up: Do they …

Solving the PM Talent Crunch — Part II

Giff Constable product management

A year and a half ago, I gave a talk to the New York Product Conference about the Associate Product Manager (APM) program I started to put in place at Meetup when we were 200+ employees. This week, I caught up on Clubhouse with Tommi Forsstrom, who runs product at Teachable, about the APM program he has put in place …

Where do you learn from?

Giff Constable management

I’ve learned more about being a good product leader from people outside of product than inside. There, I said it. Maybe this is because there were fewer to learn from back in the day. Nowadays we have amazing people like Gib Biddle, Melissa Perri, Teresa Torres, Tommi Forsstrom, just to name a few among so many I respect and follow. …

How to incentivize risk taking right out of your organization

Giff Constable leadership

I recently heard a leader say, “We’re looking to promote people who are good at making decisions and who are right more often than not.” I’ve heard that sentiment shared before. It sounds awfully good until you start thinking through the implications of that last part within a larger organization. Remember that when it comes to promotion, your people will …